Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Waterford Crystal

Day 2 - The next morning we found ourselves winding thru small towns and villages, back down to the coastal highway, heading south along the Irish Sea. Our bus driver ,Joe, doubled as tour guide, entertaining us with numerous stories and jokes, as well as current and historical background. We were on our way to the city and county of Waterford.
President Kennedy had visited his ancestral home at Dungastown, New Ross near here. A statue of him in the harbor and a reconstructed "famine ship", the Dunbrody, mark the place where millions of Irish emigrants tried to escape the ravages of the potato famine.
We quickly arrived at the world famous Waterford Crystal Factory for our first tour of the day.
It would be a big understatement to say I’m not very knowledgeable in area of the "home decorating arts" Several visits to the Chicago Art Museum's floor on that subject often found me quickly bored. Still, there was hope, because "artists tours" thru small towns in southwestern Wisconsin often left me enthralled watching glassblowers do their thing. As we began our tour of Waterford Crystal, I quickly realized this was my place......

The new high-tech facility exclusively produces 40,000 luxury hand-crafted crystal pieces using traditional artisan methods in addition to serving as a laboratory for innovation and modern design. Unfortunately, the ups and down of the business cycle have left much of Waterford Crystal production in other venues such as Germany and the Czech Republic. Still, here we would see a wonderful retail showcase and how each individual piece of crystal is created by highly skilled craftsmen using unique and traditional methods.
Waiting for our guided tour to begain Mrs. T and I wandered about thru the combination history/retail showcase. I was looking for that something special to buy the Mrs. Ah there it was. A crystal harp. Just perfect to go with our imaginary grand piano. The price tag was.... 64,000 Euros. At about $1.40 American for a Euro....just a little out of our price range. "Would you settle for a new table setting?" I asked the Queen. "You think we can afford one these teacups?," was the instant reply.
Then they called for us to join the guided tour. Whew! Come on along!

As the tour ended we returned to the retail area. Perhaps a Waterford Crystal Beer Stein would be in order, I thought. Not a chance!
She didn't buy the whole setting!


  1. Very detailed and interesting read, and what a tour that must have been indeed. Great photos!

  2. I like the stuff but hate the price. It would be a grand gesture, maybe even a couple grand

  3. I've watched glass blowers. It's magic how they make figures with such simple techniques.

  4. I have seen glass blowers and they are facinating. Sorry about that harp--mercy what a price tag.

  5. Now I know why I don't have any Waterford Crystal! I have watched glass blowers and been fascinated by the art so I would have enjoyed at least seeing some Waterford in real life.

  6. Photos are excellent keepsakes and much cheaper than the items. Easier to transport home too.

  7. Photos are better. They don't break!
    We received a wedding present of six Waterford crystal liqueur glasses which seemed totally impractical and we never used but kept because they were a gift from someone who loved us. 35 years later I moved to South Carolina and tried to sell them in a garage sale for a pittance. Sadly no one bought them and we gave them to the Salvation Army! They were pretty though.

  8. Reminded me of my visit to the Murano glass factory outside Venice. Fascinating!
    I have a small collection of Waterford... I often give pieces as wedding presents.
    Fun post!

  9. Dear Troubirder, when I lived in Stillwater, a friend and I would camp at Gooseberry Falls every September. We did that for 10 years. But our first trip--in 1980-- was to the northern peninsula of Wisconsin--Door County. There I bought some lovely glass and saw glassmakers in action. I've been fascinated ever since. Peace.

  10. Thanks for that visit to Ireland, Sr T. That must have been a fantastic trip. Thanks also for not destroying any monasteries over there.

    1. Hey! I'm a Viking fan not a Viking...:)

  11. I have seen glass blowers and they are facinating. Sorry about that harp--mercy what a price tag.


  12. Buy direct from Waterford. Shop the luxurious range of contemporary and traditional crystal stemware, china, vases, wedding gifts and more.